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Licence refused to fake tobacco trader

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 08, 2014

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LICENSING chiefs refused to grant an alcohol licence to a man previously prosecuted for trading in fake tobacco.

East Staffordshire Borough Council’s licensing committee upheld concerns from Staffordshire Police about allowing Deria Hamad to take over the reins at Burton’s City Off Licence.

Mr Hamad had been caught selling counterfeit tobacco when police and trading standards raided a store he ran in Derby in 2010.

It was for this reason which police licensing bosses staunchly opposed him being granted a licence, for the off-licence in Wellington Street.

PC David Evans, who represented Staffordshire Police’s licensing unit, said granting the licence would ‘undermine crime prevention and public safety licensing objectives’.

He said: ““The serious criminal offence of selling illicit tobacco clearly undermines the licensing objectives and with this information in mind, Staffordshire Police objected to this application by Mr Hamad.”

As a result of him not being granted the premises licence, an application for Mr Hamad to become the new designated premises supervisor was also thrown out.

Inspector Jed White, of Staffordshire Police’s licensing unit, said: “Our licensing unit strive to ensure that licensed premises within Staffordshire are run by appropriate people who will uphold the licensing objectives.

“The unit did not believe that the proposed new licensee of City Off Licence would uphold the licensing objectives.

“We’re pleased that the licensing committee upheld our objections.”

In the wake of his Derby store being raided in 2010, requests from Mr Hamad to sell alcohol were refused, with licensing chiefs in Derby saying they had ‘no confidence’ in his ability to run a legitimate business.

Police in Burton have stepped up their bid to crackdown on the sale of counterfeit alcohol and cigarettes over the past year, with a number of raids taking place across the town.

More than £10,000 worth of illegal cigarettes in the last six months alone.

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